St. Maximus the Confessor
St. Maximus the Confessor (ca. 580-662) was an Orthodox Christian monk and ascetic and spiritual writer. He was from Constantinople and came from an illustrious family. He was a lover of wisdom and an eminent theologian. At first, he was the chief private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius and his grandson Constans. But when the Monothelite heresy became predominant in the royal court, out of hatred for this error the Saint departed for the Monastery at Chrysopolis (Scutari), of which he later became the abbot. When Constans tried to constrain him from being outspoken against the Monothelite teaching, or to stop him from speaking and writing against it, the Saint became more outspoken until eventually the emperor had his tongue cut out and his right hand cut off, so as to silence the monk. St. Maximus died in exile in the country of Georgia in 662. Recently the Georgian Orthodox Church discovered his remains under a church. His writings, Century on Love and other works are broadly know through various translations of the great spiritual classics called the Philokalia. His feast day in the Orthodox Church is celebrated on January 21.